Ethiopia: Warrants issued for Abay Tsehaye, Maj. Gen. Kinfe Dagnew as arrest on army and intelligence officials continues

Abay Tsehaye


by Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (November 12, 2018)

Court warrants have been issued for the arrest of former CEO of the Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC), Maj. General Kinfe Dagnew and a former director general of the state owned sugar corporation, Abay Tsehaye, according to ESAT sources, who also revealed that the Tigray regional government has refused to handover the suspects.

Arrests have been made on several officials of the Ethiopian Electric Power, Ethio Telecom, Sugar Corporation and others. They have been accused of high level corruption linked to the construction of Ethiopia’s mega hydroelectric dam and the government’s sugar development projects, according to ESAT sources.

Arrest warrant has also been issued for the former head of the Information Network and Security Agency (INSA), Maj. Gen. Tekleberhan Woldearegay, according to the sources.

The officials have been implicated in high level corruption and arrests have continued on other officials accused of human rights violations.

36 suspects have been brought to a court in Addis Ababa today, it was learnt.

Maj. General Kinfe Dagnew (right) and Maj. Gen. Tekleberhan Woldearegay

Most of the officials wanted for a range of crimes hail from Tigray region. The regional government has not been willing to handover the suspects, according to the sources, who also said there has been a recent increase in the number of Tigrayan federal officials and army generals that sought refuge in the region.

Ethiopia’s attorney general today said the alleged crimes by the officials include illicit financial flights, illegal purchases by government enterprises mainly by METEC former managers.

The attorney general, Berhanu Tsegaye aslo said members of the intelligence and security who have committed human rights violations would also be brought to justice.

Berhanu Tsegaye said a five month investigation by his office show that the accused run secrete prisons across the country where they have tortured political prisoners to obtain forced confessions. He said they had found seven dungeons in the capital Addis Ababa where heinous crimes such as applying electric shocks, hanging water bottles on men’s genitalia, rape of women and sodomization of men had been carried out. He said these heinous violations were repeatedly committed by INSA officials as a matter of routine work.

Political prisoners have been speaking about the presence of secrete prisons where they have also exposed tortures of unimaginable types perpetrated by INSA officials.

Established in 2010, METEC, the country’s military industrial complex, was run by army generals of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) until recently. Its CEO for the entire eight years, Maj. Gen. Kinfe Dagnew, had resigned in April when a new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, took over political power from the TPLF.

In June, a parliamentary committee has found that METEC has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in producing machineries without a thorough study of the market for its products.

The Parliamentary committee found that machineries worth 326.4 million dollars were made by METEC but were left to sit and decay at its storages in Bishoftu and Adama as there were no markets for them.

METEC found itself in hot water after failing to construct and deliver ten government sugar factories worth 3 billion dollars, even after it had received payments.